Showcasing the latest metal-forming technology doesn’t do much good if companies can’t find workers to run the machinery.

That’s why for the first time, next month’s Fabtech trade show in Chicago will include a work force pavilion in addition to its annual job fair.

Officials with the Nov. 11-14 show say that in addition to the 15,000 potential employees the job fair offers, the pavilion will add employment services companies, recruitment counselors and government officials to assist attendees.

Manufacturing companies have long complained that not enough qualified workers are entering the industry.

“It is increasingly imperative that we maintain and grow America’s base of manufacturing and welding professionals to fill the vacancies left by retirees who perform critical work in major industries, including heavy-equipment manufacturing construction, auto production, energy, military, aerospace and more,” said Cassie R. Burrell, deputy director of the American Welding Society, a Fabtech co-sponsor.

The job fair is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 12-13. The work force pavilion will be open throughout the show. Participants are to include the U.S. Department of Labor, Ferris State University, Ohio State University, the Chicago Manufacturing Renaissance Council and others.

A related Fabtech session on the U.S. skilled worker shortage will be held at 8 a.m. Nov. 12.

For details on the show,